Christian Horner has described Formula One’s new engine deal for 2017 to 2020 as a “weak agreement” while manufacturer representatives back the rules change.
Speaking in today’s FIA press conference Horner said insufficient progress had been made on the key areas addressed by the new rules, which were signed off last month.
“It is a little underwhelming,” said the Red Bull team principal. “It’s a very soft agreement between the manufacturers and the FIA.”
“It tickles the price, deals a little bit with [performance] convergence, the obligation to supply doesn’t really apply. So it’s a very weak agreement. Unfortunately, it’s a shame that more couldn’t be done but I suppose if you look on the bright side it’s better than nothing.”
However Cyril Abiteboul of Red Bull’s engine supplier Renault praised the passing of stable engine regulations for the next four seasons.
“I think what’s good is to have a clear understanding of what’s coming up for the next few years,” he said. “We all know that stability is important, we have agreed for some stability to 2020.”
Power unit prices will be fixed at €12 million in 2018, a reduction of €3 million, according to the FIA. “We have also agreed for price reduction to customer teams, that’s clear, that’s agreed,” said Abiteboul.
“There is also a clear target to get the performance to converge because we all believe it’s important for Formula One. We believe it’s happening anyway but there is this clear target – it cannot be a guarantee because no one can guarantee performance. You can’t guarantee performance in a wind tunnel, same thing with engine.
“But we all know what we have to do. So I think it’s good, it’s a relief, because we know what we have to do and we can make plans for the future.”
Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff also supported the new regulations.
“We have achieved a major price reductions over two years,” he said. “We have opened up development scope for others to catch up. We have designed an obligation to supply so no team runs out of an engine contract. We have found a mechanism how performance convergence could be triggered.”
“Lots of good things, many months of hard working and trying to bring everybody on the same page. I think it’s a good step forward.”
2017 F1 season
- Stripping Verstappen of 2017 US podium was “one of the toughest decisions” – steward
- Sepang pays Haas compensation for Grosjean’s 2017 crash
- Williams revenues rose in 2017 after Bottas deal with Mercedes
- New kerbs at COTA in response to Verstappen’s corner-cutting
- Australian Grand Prix cost government £56 million last year